Receiving a military award is a serious and honorable affair. Often done to recognize acts of bravery or going beyond the call of duty, these military awards and decorations are treasured keepsakes for both the recipients and their families. So whether you are trying to figure out how to take care of your award, or do better with ones inherited from ancestors, here are some basic strategies you can apply in preservation.
Invest in A Shadow Box
Shadow box display cases are simply glass front frames used to hold items for display. They are deeper than standard frames, providing enough room to safely place awards and decorations. They can often be custom made to whatever specifications by many frame makers. They are also presented to military personnel when retiring. They are a good storage option as they allow you to conveniently hang awards and easily keep an eye on them.
Space Them Out
It is never a good idea for military awards and decorations to touch each other. The metals meeting can encourage rusting. If your shadow box is crowded, consider buying a bigger one that will still allow you to layout the decorations appropriately and spaciously.
Our fingers naturally carry oils that can be damaging to metal. They can cause oxidation which will cause deterioration. It is advisable to always wear gloves when handling the medals and decorations. Try to avoid any contact at all and if showing them off, do so only through the glass pane of the shadow bo
Coat The Metal
Another way to protect the metal in the awards from suffering damage is to coat them in wax or sealant. This can help preserve the metal for longer and you can safely handle them without fear of causing them to deteriorate. However, keep in mind that you will likely need to remove and redo the process every so often.
Perform Regular Cleanings
Even when placed in a shadow box or otherwise displayed, medals,will accumulate airborne pollutants. These particles need to be regularly removed to safeguard the metals, wood, and ribbons. Going over them with a soft dry cloth is a good way to keep on top of things
Keep Away from Sunlight
The sun has a bleaching effect, especially on fabrics. Avoid placing your shadow box in a place it will be exposed to sunlight. Find a cool, dark and dry spot that you can show off these awards.